A bundled microSD card arrives preinserted into the rear of the CuBox-i, and it’s loaded with a version of Google’s Android operating system. Interestingly, SolidRun has gone to the effort of seeking the certifications required to load the Google Apps suite onto the card, meaning users receive Google Mail, YouTube, Google Maps and full access to Google Play straight out of the box. An even newer build, based on the latest Android 4.4 KitKat branch, can be downloaded from SolidRun’s website and provides an entirely useable desktop Android experience.
Linus Torvalds announced the release of Linux kernel version 3.18 in time for the holidays. In his mail, Linus noted that the previous RC, release candidate 7, had been “tiny” (in terms of changes and bugfixes), so it was time to get the final release out. The latest kernel includes support for storing AMD Radeon GPU buffers in regular application memory (building upon similar work done by Intel for kernel 3.16), and overlayfs (which we have covered previously), amongst a number of other less interesting new features. A full summary is provided at Kernel Newbies.
Long story short, Windows 10 feels like a beta for an early version of Android, a consumer operating system that is designed to be on-line all the time. It does not feel like an operating system I would use to get work done. In fact, other than watching movies, browsing the web or listening to music, I don’t think I would find Windows 10 particularly useful. At least not without the on-line account stuff being removed and the package manager(s) fixed. Forcing users to sign up for an on-line account is a sure way to tell us privacy is not a concern and the alternative, downloading applications from the web, is a sure way to introduce malware.
A Finnish group of phone developers, hoping to get the world interested in modular smartphones, has proposed a nifty idea for re-using their phone motherboards: turn them into clusters.
The Linux-based Puzzlephone project wants to extend the life of smartphones by making more of the phone replaceable, on the premise that most of the hardware can last a decade, but consumers are locked into a much shorter upgrade cycle.
Eurotech’s “CPU-351-13″ SBC runs Linux on Freescale’s i.MX6 SoC, and offers ZigBee, GPS, extended temperature operation, remote IoT management, and more.
Eurotech has been promoting the concept of managed Internet of Things devices long before “IoT” became the latest craze. The Yocto Linux ready CPU-351-13 single board computer is the latest of its embedded boards that can be remote controlled using its Everyware Software Framework (ESF) and Everyware Cloud Client. Other Everyware-enabled products from Eurotech include last year’s Intel Atom E3800 based Catalyst BT module.
While the Nouveau pull request has yet to be issued for the DRM-Next merge window that will ultimately target the Linux 3.20 kernel, a look at the changes so far appear to mostly indicate this open-source NVIDIA driver is just going through a period of code cleaning and reorganization.
A few months ago our US Senior Editor Andrew Grush offered his praise of the Moto 360, having spent a month with it. Despite the quality of the writing itself, I took issue with the core of the content: that Android Wear is a suitable platform for wearables. I have to disagree, at least as things now stand. Android Wear seems fundamentally broken due to its being chained to Google Now and a smartphone, something not so true of Samsung’s Gear products, which run on Tizen.
After a discussion with Andrew however, a larger issue surfaced: the divergent opinion is largely based on the individual’s needs and expectations. To this end, I felt it an interesting experiment to delve into the functionality of both, and try and give readers a bit more insight into the very different paths that Google and Samsung are taking with their wearables.